21 July 2015

pokhara, nepal

we spent four post-trek days in the really cool lakeside town of pokhara. we really fell for this unique, colorful, fascinating and beautiful place, but our experience was different than expected due to the earthquake – we spent a significant amount of our time trying to figure out a way to help disaster victims and/or feeling a mixture of guilt and gratitude from being comfortable and enjoying simple conveniences and traveling adventures. to read more about what we concluded to do when aching to help in this situation, click here. we were and are grateful for the things we learned through being in nepal at that crazy time.

{for added clarification about our experience in pokhara, here’s an excerpt from a reply to comment on my last post: being comfortable in pokhara was actually very uncomfortable for both of us - our hearts were broken for the people of nepal and wrenched as we discovered there was not much we could do to help. as i mentioned in my first post about being in nepal during the earthquake, we worked diligently to try to find an efficient way to help victims (we were trying to figure out a way to cancel the turkey portion of our trip right up until our flight out of pokhara) and decided that the best thing we could do was stay out of the way and give money. we donated a big enough chunk that it truly stung and we had to give up significant plans in our travels, and also spent more money in nepal than anywhere else on our trip, in an effort to give back to the tourism industry in that country, hugely hit by this disaster. we made an agreement with waterfront resort before our trip (long before the earthquake) that of course we feel compelled to honor - and we would love to help attract more visitors to this lovely place, especially at a time when business is very low due to the circumstances.}

here’s some pictures of our time in pokhara. seriously such a cool spot on earth.

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^^ normal sight – cows and motorbikes in the road. we walked into this main street each day and loved the bustle of the town, the yummy restaurants we discovered, and browsing the shops slammed full of souvenirs, local art and trekking equipment. ^^
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^^ pokhara surrounds the goregous phewa tal (or lake). we heard that on clear days, the giant snowy mountains can be seen reflected in the lake, but it was cloudy all of our waking hours. still, so pretty! ^^
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^^ one night we took a taxi to a beautiful restaurant on the lake away from town. the clouds were so stunning hanging in the sunsetty sky – and this photograph does a terrible job capturing it! we ate outside as the stars came out and it was pretty magical! we heart heart heart nepalese food. ^^
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^^ on the little driving tour that the staff at waterfront resort set up for us. it was neat to stop by all the different points of interest around town. i looooove how colorful everything is!! ^^
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^^ the international mountain museum was pretty cool! neat exhibits all about the tallest mountains in the world – many of which are in nepal and some of which we saw! ^^
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^^ we took a little boat ride on our last day. our boat driver was the coolest man who looked like he must have been ninety years old! he was so full of light and laughter. ^^
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^^ there’s an island in the middle of the lake with shrines and views! ^^
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^^ i really wish i would have taken more pictures of the food we ate in nepal. did i mention we loved it? ^^
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^^ on our last morning, we went to this iiiiincredible lookout point at sunrise and saw the magnificent mountains emerge into the morning light. it was outrageously, ridiculously spectacular, and these pictures show about 1% of the majesty….
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^^ we flew out of the little pokhara airport right on time as scheduled, which was amazing given the situation in the country. the views from the runway and the airplane were pretty awesome:
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we spent one day back in kathmandu before heading on to our next country, turkey. we had planned to go see historical and beautiful sites around the city, but instead we stayed close by our hotel and felt additional aftershocks as we repacked our things. we only saw a tiny bit of destruction in kathmandu, which surprised us, but we continued to learn of extreme destruction elsewhere. we were so so glad to hear that the loved ones of those we had interacted with in kathmandu before the trek were safe. we left the incredible country of nepal with heavy hearts full of sadness for those beautiful, beautiful people and prayers for the country’s recovery, sorrowful that we could not do much to help.

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^^ we stayed at the coolest place in kathmandu both before and after our trek. check out tings lounge hotel – not only is the space so lovely and well styled, the food fresh and delicious, and the staff wonderfully welcoming, but the hotel is doing great good by seeking to employ and train those who otherwise would not have opportunities in the working world in nepal. ^^
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^^ while waiting for our flight in the uber crowded kathmandu airport, we played nerts (our favourite card game, of which we played probably over a hundred rounds on our trip). other people in the airport were so intrigued by our card playing and at one point we had a few dozen spectators! ^^
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^^ more incredible airplane views as we said goodbye to nepal. ^^
it’s a place we will cherish in our hearts forever, and a place that taught us things that we brought home and hope to always carry with us.
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3 comments :

  1. Oh wow, I never noticed the comments before. Nor have I ever commented, but I truly think your trip is an inspiration and the haters make me cringe. You have a wonderful way of sharing your travels, keep it up and thank you for posting.

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  2. Nerts is a family favorite of ours as well!! I love, love how you live and share your life!!

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  3. Inspirational! I have loved reading about your adventures.So proud of your efforts in Nepal. Can't wait to try Nerts!!!

    xx Sarah

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